Other Government Release

Unemployment Rate Drops to Lowest Level Since 2005 – NEDA

MANILA – The Labor Force Survey (LFS) for November 2023 saw 1.83 million unemployed people, 350,000 fewer than the 2.18 million in November 2022, leading to a drop in the unemployment rate to 3.6 percent. It was the lowest recorded unemployment rate since the Philippine Statistics Authority introduced a new methodology for measuring the LFS in 2005, the National Economic and Development Authority said Tuesday, January 9.

The labor force participation rate slid to 65.9 percent from 67.5 percent in November 2022. This translates to an estimated 51.47 million Filipinos aged 15 years and older in the labor force, lower than the 51.88 million in November 2022.

The decline was mainly due to reduced participation of young people (34.4% from 40.0%) and women (55.4 % from 57.8%) in the labor force, influenced by family responsibilities, schooling, and age-related factors.

NEDA Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan emphasized the need to expand the digital economy, including the digitalization of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and startups, to address the declining labor force and increase labor market gains in 2024 and beyond.

“Digitalization enables alternative work arrangements, particularly for the youth, women, and those in the creative sector. This will help address the declining labor force,” the NEDA chief said.

“We will take full advantage of the liberalization reforms intended to attract investments in the Philippines, especially in digital infrastructure. Upgrading our infrastructure will attract investments that generate high-quality jobs,” the government’s chief economic planner added.

He added that the government will further support a more productive, agile, and adaptive workforce by passing and implementing crucial regulatory reforms, such as the Apprenticeship Bill, Lifelong Learning Bill, and the Enterprise Productivity Act.

He also underscored the need to establish a regulatory framework to allow alternative work arrangements, including part-time work, even in the formal economy.

“Allowing part-time work even in the formal sector will expand opportunities for lifelong learning, work experience in an organized setting, and coverage in social protection systems,” Balisacan said.

Meanwhile, the underemployment rate also eased to 11.7 percent in the same survey period from 14.4 percent in November 2022. The number of underemployed persons, or those who expressed the desire to have an additional job and work hours, was estimated at 5.79 million last November, lower than the 7.16 million in November 2022.

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